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Posts Tagged ‘passion’

The Summer Sabbatical

July 20, 2011 18 comments

My summer sabbatical was not planned.  I never thought my last post would have been June 1st.  In fact, my one year blogging anniversary came and went without any fanfare and trust me I am a fan of fanfare.

So why the unplanned sabbatical from my blog?  Hmm… not sure.  All I can tell you is that in the beginning I was busy living.  The last weeks of school are hectic, than summer swept me up in all it’s sparkle, sunscreen and sangrias (actually, it has been mostly rum, but I love to abuse alliteration).  Both of my kids have summer birthdays, so there are parties, presents and pinatas (actually, there were no pinatas, but again with the alliteration).  I have been enjoying the little moments, the everyday joys of summer.  Before I knew it, I looked up and I hadn’t written in over a month.

Then it became daunting.

I felt like I would need a spectacular re-entry and was at a loss.  I would get pings from my dear bloggy friends and readers and I would hide.  (I actually tried to respond to some tweets and am having Twitter issues).  Every time I read the brilliant writing of those I follow, I would feel like I was in a deeper hole.  Whether you’re a writer or not, I bet you have been there; procrastinating a paper in college, putting off a work deadline or avoiding thank you notes (of which I need to do for both my kids).  The longer you put it off, the bigger the task becomes.  

A friend asked me this week, if you’re not writing, where are you putting that time?  Well, that’s a post in itself, besides enjoying small summer moments , I have been more serious about window shopping for my passion and purpose.  I have been more focused on exploring new career options and have taken a big step.  I am enrolling in the September session of the Life Launch Program through the Hudson Institute in lovely Santa Barbara, CA.  I have some hunches on what I want to do next and I hope the program will help evaluate those hunches.

I told a friend that I didn’t think I would blog about the program and my thoughts behind it.  I felt that this blog was about Paige, the crazy, cocktail-drinking mom striving for balance through humor.  But looking for passion and purpose, trying to balance our personal identities with our parent personas, actual feels like a perfect fit.  I am convinced everybody has that moment (or several moments!) where they say ‘how did I get here’ and ‘do I want to be here’?  Let me be clear – I want to be here, in my home with my children and husband, but there are other parts of life that can be tinkered with.  I think about my friends who gave up high-powered careers to raise their families or those who work 80 hours per week, we all have those days where we ask ourselves if we should have chosen differently or wonder if it’s time to chart a new course. 

Therefore, it is my plan to continue to share with you my journey, my experiences and my thoughts, because we are all multi-faceted, unique and amazing people who fit in more than one bucket, whether that’s parents, working professionals or cocktail-loving crazies.  I hope you’ll share with me your questions about your chosen path, your future journeys and dreams yet to be fulfilled.  Crazy loves company.  Yes, I will still share parenting stories, but my seven-year old son is in the all farting, all the time stage, so I plan to spare you. 

Do you feel like you’re fulfilling your life’s purpose?  Are you passionate about how your spend your days?  Do you have another goal on the horizon?  Do you live a double or triple life to fulfill multiple passions?  Do you put lime in your rum?  How do you get a little boy to stop with the incessant potty talk?!

I am still on sabbatical, but there is sure a lot to discuss and now that I am here, it’s good to be back.

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Window Shopping for Purpose and Passion

May 26, 2011 7 comments

I have been a little MIA here lately.  I have written many posts… in my head.  Trust me, I have some brilliant thoughts at 3:00 am that I never put to paper (or keyboard) the next morning.  So what have I been doing instead of blogging?  Why am I up thinking at 3:00 am? 

I have been shopping.  Well, window shopping actually.

I have put a lot of energy into window shopping for my purpose and passion.

I am a happy person.  I love my life and feel blessed with the things in it.  I have a wonderful husband, two adorable children, a stable and rewarding career… but…

…I feel like I am wearing a shirt I love that doesn’t fit quite right.

…I feel like I am meant to do something else, something more in line with my passions and strengths.

…I feel like my happy life could be happier.

I feel like I am searching for my “purpose”.  Yes, I am a mother and wife, those things are paramount.  But when I take away relationship titles, who am I?  

Is this just a career search? I don’t think so, but I could be wrong.  I have a career, but does it speak to who I am?  I am not sure.  Does it capitalize on my strengths?  Not all of them.  The time we spend working is significant, shouldn’t it or couldn’t it represent us?

In search of quieting the questions in my head,  I have invested more time in my work while researching new careers.  I have been trying to gauge how much I love my job and if it is the right one.  I have been searching for the ideal job that fits multi-faceted me.

Then something great happened, a chance conversation.  A wise friend, who I respect very much, recently shared with me that he is trying to figure out what is next for him after he wraps up his current corporate gig.  He explained he might put more effort into a few small companies he runs, he might do philanthropic work, or he might do something totally different.  It sounded like he might dabble in several things.

As I reflected on our conversation, it hit me that I was trying to get all of my passion and purpose in a few places.  I realized that I have more than one purpose and I need to figure out how to prioritize them, not combine them.  I am the queen of multi-tasking, but you can’t multi-task life.  I think life is meant to be enjoyed and lived in separate streams.  Career, motherhood, charity work, friendships, hobbies – they are each deserving of their own time.  And I deserve to enjoy each of them without distraction (on the ideal days – don’t get literal with a woman with young children).

The other important thing I am figuring out is that I need to focus on the details and let go of the big picture.  No, I didn’t write that backwards.  I would like to better appreciate the happiness and passion I already have instead of trying to connect them to one purpose in life.  I read a quote by MeiMei Fox that I love:

The key to happiness is not enjoying every single moment of every day. That’s an unrealistic expectation that sets you up for disappointment. The key is to celebrate every tiny but glorious, extraordinary and surprising experience you have.  She goes on to provide the critical reminder that:

“When something miraculous takes place — and by miraculous, I mean any of the seemingly small yet phenomenal events that unfold all the time, from your child laughing in your arms, to your best friend calling in tears to tell you her mother has cancer — stop. Put down your smart phone. Watch. Listen. Taste. Touch. Show up.”

I sometimes often forget to stop and show up.  I over multi-task, I miss the passion, the purpose that already exists.  So I am still window shopping from time to time, but I am trying to spend more time just experiencing.

The restless feeling hasn’t completely left me, but now I interpret it as excitement and anticipation for the many blessings that I will experience in the moments, days, months and years ahead.  My personal challenge is taking them one moment at a time.

Do you feel like you know your purpose?  Do you experience life?  Do you show up?

Cocktails and Passion, Hold the Books

September 13, 2010 11 comments

Since the beginning of time, women have had diversions: bridge club, garden club, Bunko, book club, and the myriad of at-home parties – Stella and Dot, Pampered Chef, Cookie Lee, Southern Living – you get the idea.  Let’s be honest: these are all excuses to get a few hours away from the kids, husbands, boyfriends, pets, whatever and enjoy some time with the girls. 

These events are a time to catch up on each others’ lives, share parenting horror stories and exchange beauty tips, recipes and laughs.   The theme, activity or reason for gathering is arbitrary, as long as we come together as women to blow off steam.  I remember my shock the first time I attended book club, with my book in hand, to find that half of the women don’t read the book and we rarely discuss it. (I, being an avid reader, was slightly disappointed, but the second cocktail made me feel better.)  In summary, our gatherings are the male equivalent of grabbing a beer after work (or so I suspect).

To my knowledge, all of these female gatherings include wine, cocktails or other appropriate alcohol (I’d go to Spanish Club if they served Sangria).  Maybe that’s just my group of friends, but I remember my grandmother pulling out the terrifying jug of Chablis (that poured like maple syrup…) to offer with the iced tea for her bridge club.  (Emily Post had nothing on those women who were steadfast enough to drink that with a polite smile).  Depending on if the gathering is day or evening dictates how much consumption is socially acceptable.  Occasionally, there is the added thrill of a gutsy gal exceeding the quota and being the entertainment for the evening.

This last Saturday night I attended a Passion Party.  This is the pinnacle of the secret female gatherings.  A consultant comes in to provide ideas and products to make life more interesting in the bedroom.  *If you are conservative, stop reading, but may I remind you that if you’re a mom, you likely had sex to have a baby and if you’re not a mom, your parents likely had sex to have you – get over it!

Glad you’re still with me.  But, lucky for you, the Grapefruit martinis make the evening just fuzzy enough not to articulate.  (But I do believe we made the party consultant blush with our comments!)  Therefore, if I am not going to provide details of the evening, why do I bring it up?  Because it highlights all that is perfect about girls evenings.  They are uninhibited, real and can bond perfect strangers. (I can now tell you – but I won’t – who has handcuffs in their homes and who is the most knowledgable about toys).  As women, we openly discuss menstruation, children’s’ poop and weight; how is sex any more taboo?  We are empowered to speak the alcohol induced truth and share our “wisdom”, humor and most embarrassing stories.  We laugh so hard we understand the importance of Kegel’s. 

After such an evening, we are rejuvenated – we have the smug smile of somebody holding a juicy secret and some of us anticipate the arrival of unmarked package, while dreading the visa bill.  For me, I felt more romantical (it’s my favorite made up word) towards my husband and was more patient with my children.  I feel closer to my girlfriends and somehow feel like a stronger woman in general.

So I am huge supporter of female gatherings and all the “secrets” shared there.  I also like pages 6-9 of the summer catalog, but that’s another story…

The 7 Deadly Sins of Parenting

September 9, 2010 1 comment

MSN did a piece yesterday about the Seven Deadly Sins .  It got me to thinking about my sins as a parent:

Lust:  With our busy schedules, traditional lust is not a daily occurrence around here.  However, I will admit to lusting after shoes and purses.  My shopping budget is about as scarce as lust, so I lust after the material things I gave up when I gave birth to the products of traditional lust.

Wrath: I have shared with you the dangers of the crazy mama bear.  They say there is no greater wrath/fury than a woman scorned.  Wrong!  There is no greater wrath than me if you so much as look at my children in a threatening way.  Only I can give them that look. 

Pride: This is practically a gimme for parents.  Have I told you my six-year-old and three-year old can water ski?  Yes, I have, but I’m glad to have the opportunity to tell you brag again.  I would post pictures of my kids to show the world how stinkin’ cute they are, but it goes back to that wrath and over-protective mama thing.  So, pride – check.

Greed: If honesty compensates for greed than let me be clear: I would love to be rich, but not famous.  I want enough money to choose my activities, to only work on things I am passionate about, to work less and enjoy life more.  But it’s not just money, I want more time too.  Time with the kids, time with my husband, time for myself, time for my friends.  Call me Veruca: I want more and I want it now.

Envy:  I envy moms (and dads) who appear to have more balance in their lives than me.  I say “appear” because if they are anything like me, you shouldn’t look behind their curtain either. 

Gluttony:  Covered that with my post about Mommy’s Hierarchy of Needs.  I use sweets and cocktails to achieve balance in my slightly off-balance life.  When I really want to show my kids how much I care for them I say, “I love you more than chocolate” and sometimes I mean it.

Sloth:  I have had 7 different posts that mention my inconsistent showering habits (really, I counted).  Sloth is practically my middle name!  I dare say I envy those who have more opportunities to be lazy than me.  Do I get double points for a sin about a sin?

Bringing little angels into the world drives us to commit sin on a daily basis.  Does that make me a great parent, a bad parent or just totally normal?

I CHOOSE To Love

August 19, 2010 16 comments

In a recent post, I talked about I feel kids help my marriage.  This may seem unusual to some, but  I truly believe I can choose my perspective and response to life.  Not every day is magic and love.  I break under pressure, I consider sending my kids off to the circus and my husband to Antarctica, but I make choices.  I chose to have kids and I choose to focus on the positive. 

My husband and I did a couples counseling weekend before we got married and they said you will not be in love with your partner through your whole marriage, some days you will have to use your resolve and choose to love.  I choose to love on the tough days.  When I want to unleash my completely unbalanced side on my husband, I make a conscious decision to love him.  I definitely do not feel in love with him at that moment, but I remind myself that our relationship is deeper than that.  My choice to love him is what carries me through until I feel “in love” again.  I know that life is full of ups and downs.  I use the ups to get me through the downs.  I am confident that each chapter in my life will be different.  I also now have a clever way of telling him I am angry with him the kids are present – when he hears me say “I am choosing to love you”, he knows he has set off my crazy side!

I used my “choose to love mantra” with a friend yesterday.  She was having one of those days, she was arguing with her husband in front of her kids.  She was at her wit’s end and didn’t provide the normal explanation to her kids that mommies and daddies fight, but still love each other.  Instead, she had that moment where her head may have been capable of spinning around on her neck and she was driving the anger train!  She needed fresh perspective.  I reminded her that she has the ability to choose to love him. 

– On a side note, imagine how annoying it must be to have a friend like me who interjects positivity and “choose to love” mantras when you’re pissed off and ready to come unglued.  Maybe it’s not my advice that helps, but rather that her husband seems like a better ally then my Little Mary Sunshine personality (reminder: I have several personalities).

Back to the point – I believe that my marriage is strengthened by weathering the rocky periods.  I look back on the ten years of my marriage and they haven’t all been as good as this one and I know there will be rough years in the future, but I’d rather be tested and pass than keep my marriage in a bubble.  It’s a lot of work to choose happiness, positivity and love.  It’s also a lot of work to be friends with me, but I have to hope that there is some goodness in both.

10 Reasons My Kids Help My Marriage

August 12, 2010 187 comments

Today is my 10th wedding anniversary.  Please send sympathy cards to my husband. 😉  I have discussed how I miss my husband even though we live in the same house as a result of having the chaos of kids.  But today I am reflecting, and appreciating, all of the gifts my children bring to my marriage.  Many of you know I love lists, so here we go:

  1. The kids unite us in a common cause of being great parents.  We both try hard and work at it together.
  2. They keep us young (out of self-preservation) with sports, bike rides and play time.
  3. Our kids provide us endless goals to satisfy our achievement oriented personalities.  Celebrating those milestones as a family brings my husband and I closer together.
  4. They can make our sex life risky and exciting.  In other words the threat of them walking in at any minute.
  5. They keep us from taking life too seriously.  Who can be stoic when your kids are showing you their latest dance moves?!
  6. They provide another reason not to walk out when the going gets tough.
  7. They are constant reminders of unconditional love – both giving and receiving.
  8. When we’re engaged in a battle of wills with our kids and my husband is my only ally, it makes our bond stronger.
  9. I see the best parts of him in them and it reminds me of why I fell in love.
  10. I can fall in love all over again watching my husband be a tender, nurturing father.

My husband and I don’t always agree about the kids.  AKA he is Disney Dad and I am the enforcer, we balance each other out and keep each other sane.  Our kids will always test our patience, conviction and physical endurance.  The rewards of passing those tests are endless love, laughter and joy.

A Quick Sweets Update

July 31, 2010 3 comments

I am still in a bet with my friend, I still have not had sweets.  He called three times yesterday begging for chew, when I said no, he resorted to trying to get me to eat sweets.  When that didn’t work he explained why I was going to lose the bet, hmmm… not likely.  He’s a trainwreck, this should be an easy victory.

Well, I have a new problem.  One of my friends, Sasha (names have been changed to protect the truly nuts), thinks the bet is dumb.  She is coming over later and is bringing dessert.  SHE DOESN”T EVEN LIKE SWEETS!  She’s doing it just to make it hard on me.  Her and my husband are conspiring and he is now talking about making his famous chocolate soufflé – Really!?  But I will not give in, I will win this bet, I will exercise will power.  Why, because I am stubborn and my dessert toting friend, Sasha, is crazy (said with love).   This isn’t about helping my friend quit chewing anymore.  Now it’s a grudge match.  It’s me against the world.  Am I pointlessly depriving myself of one of my passions?  Maybe.  Am I taking this too far and being over dramatic – absolutely!  But I am having fun and laughing hard and that is more therapeutic than sweets – at least that is what I am telling myself.

One last thought, when the best is over, I am going to face first into anything sweet.  I might even try bacon ice cream that Jen at My Morning Chocolate has been experimenting with.  Or, I might just get an IV of Hershey’s syrup and cut to the chase.

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